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Delivering A Speech? Maintain Eye Contact

Layne McDonald. Ph.D.

“Let thy speech be better than silence or be silent.”
-Dionysius Of Halicarnassus

Body language is critical when delivering a speech.

Have you seen our great leaders fidget or make unnecessary movements while addressing the nation?

Since you are the center of attention while making the presentation, you should mind every move you make so as not to bore or distract the people listening to your speech.

So, you already have a speech prepared, know the topic well, and are now standing in front of the audience.

They are in for a treat because you have prepared an excellent presentation, yet you also know they have a noticeably short attention span.

How would you keep them interested in what you are saying?

The answer is to keep eye contact.

Great speakers use this public speaking technique when addressing a large group of people.

Here are tips on how you can use this “trick” to keep your audience interested while delivering a speech:

Once you have started speaking and given your introduction, look at your audience.

Do not be nervous if you see one or two people frowning as you are unsure precisely what they are thinking.

Instead of looking out for unfriendly or blank faces, please search for the people smiling and nodding their heads.

Try to focus on this person for a few minutes and look them in the eye.

This way, you would have an immediate “friend” in the audience from whom you can look and gain confidence.

This will increase your confidence and relax you during your speech.

Gaze steadily at your audience, moving from one part of the room to another. This way, you would at once grasp their attention.

Never read your speech from notes, live. Just outline the critical points on which you can expand.

If you have visuals, do not read the bullet points, as this might imply that your audience cannot read that themselves.

With this, you instantly create a “bond” with your audience since you do not have to keep looking at your notes throughout your speech.

The key to delivering a great speech is breathing, relaxing, and making eye-to-eye contact with your audience.

Thus, you are not just making a physical connection with them, but you are also ensuring that you come out as a sincere speaker who wants to inform and interact with the audience through your speech.

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